Kirt Costello

Kirt Costello

Commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Development Program Utilization Manager

Kirt Costello serves as the Commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Development Program Utilization Manager. He is responsible for coordination and integration of the program’s utilization strategy, approach, and program level requirements. He also provides executive leadership, strategic direction, and program management for all elements of the program’s utilization activities, which includes leading stakeholder-focused teams to enable NASA and LEO National Lab use of Commercial LEO Destinations for research and technology development by providing cost, schedule, technical, and programmatic oversight of the work required to integrate the research.

He has 24 years of experience at NASA, and previously served as the International Space Station (ISS) Chief Scientist and the ISS Research Integration Office (RIO) Deputy Manager. As ISS chief scientist, he represented all NASA research on the space station, and provided recommendations regarding research on the orbiting lab to ISS and NASA leadership. As the RIO Deputy Manager, Dr. Costello supported the day-to-day operations and integration work in the RIO office with a special focus on RIO external client relations. Prior to his work with the ISS Program, Dr. Costello was a power and thermal systems training instructor, a Station Training Lead and a Mission Operation Directorate Group Lead for the Daily Operations Group and Plug-in Plan Utilization Officers flight controllers.

Dr. Costello earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in space physics and astronomy from Rice University and was a double major with bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Thomas More College.